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#1 of 15 Old 07-30-2011, 08:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Vent:  Seriously....how does anyone stay on budget???  My vices are takeout breakfasts and lunches and clothing.  I think I am helping Tim Hortons fund a new location eyesroll.gif  I never have time to eat in the morning and I used to keep cereal and milk at work but I don't like breakfast cutting into work time.  Lunches I used to be good at too, then the kids got bigger but I kept making the same dinners and we don't have as many leftovers as we used to.  I suppose I should just buy some salad mix and lunch meat and park it in the fridge at work for the week.  The clothing thing also kills me...I'm going full time in September so I suppose I need more than one pair of jeans.  My work is casual but annoyingly trendy...$200 skinny jeans are a uniform for some of the women here.  I don't ever have time to shop for clothes so I'm always trying to get stuff online when there's a sale at the Gap.  Meh.

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#2 of 15 Old 07-30-2011, 08:52 AM
 
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Well I eat breakfast and lunch at work but I can work while eating so it's not a big deal.

 

On weekends, I usually make a huge breakfast casserole and divide it into containers so I can just grab one and go.  Otherwise I have simple, quick stuff; a muffin, a bagel, toast, oatmeal, etc.

 

Lunches are the same, I make a big salad or a pot of soup and eat that all week. Boring, but I also don't have to put any thought into it and it's cheap.

 

For clothes, can you get thrifted or ebay stuff?  Some of that's pretty trendy and way cheaper.

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#3 of 15 Old 07-30-2011, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Breakfast casserole recipe please!

 

I totally know the theory, I just moved and our house has been a disaster...I just need a serious kick in the behind to get back on track ;-)

 

I've never had much luck thrifting for myself but I also don't put very much time into it.  My DS is at a tough age to take shopping and I hate to cut into family time by asking DH to take the kids.  Ebay might work, I just need the time and patience to figure out how different brands fit.  Right now I only wear a couple brands that I can safely purchase without trying on, and I only buy certain styles because I know they will work.  I can't believe I used to clothes shop for pleasure rather than to avoid public nudity eyesroll.gif

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#4 of 15 Old 07-30-2011, 09:46 AM
 
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I'd love to thrift but I've never found anything in the few stores we have here.

 

There's no real recipe.  I usually fry some potatoes, spinach and onions (and whatever else I have that sounds good) throw that in a dish with some ham or sausage (again, whatever I've got). Scramble some eggs with milk and pour over the top, then top with cheese and bake until the eggs set.

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#5 of 15 Old 08-04-2011, 08:54 PM
 
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I mostly eat in my car during my commute. On a good day that is a banana and a bagel. On a bad day it's a granola bar from the stash in the glovebox.

I've found that accessories are key. So a trendy scarf, necklace or jacket to make many old outfits look hip and new. Cheeper than buying whole outfits, and faster too. I've also found that classic peices have staying power, so those navy slacks can be pretty hip if you pair them with something modern and in style. I operate on about a $200 per year clothing budget, so those designer jeans are out! Consignment stores, clearance racks, and designer knockoffs are my friends.

CD'ing, homebirthing, milk making school teacher. Supporting my family on my income and trying to get out of debt in 2013!
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#6 of 15 Old 08-04-2011, 08:58 PM
 
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#7 of 15 Old 08-05-2011, 11:18 AM
 
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I don't know what your food preferences are but here's what I do and it's fast and cheap:

One large tub of vanilla yogurt, a bag of almonds, and a bag of frozen blueberries, I  mix that together in a small bowl daily and that's breakfast. The  tub of yogurt lasts all week, the other ingredients 3x longer. I do eat this at my desk, which you said you don't want to do. I'm just not hungry until well after my coffee.

 

Coffee - my boss and I split the cost of the coffee maker and grinder years ago and we make our coffee here. We take turns buying the beans.

 

Lunches- On Sunday I bake up cubed tofu for "croutons" (recipe given upon request) and I eat it with lettuce and tomatoes all week for lunch. I  make homemade vinaigrette and keep it at work.

 

Yes, I pretty much eat the same thing every workday. It does get boring but the calorie content and convenience works for me.

 

Clothes, I buy at second-hand stores but I don't need to worry about being fashionable or trendy. I do generally score Gap, Banana Republic, even sometimes Prana and Lucky Brand.

 

 

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#8 of 15 Old 08-05-2011, 12:35 PM
 
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Hints for Breakfasts:

 

  • leftover pancakes - always make a double or triple batch and freeze what you don't eat that meal. They toast up in a toaster right from the freezer.
  • scrambled egg burritoes
  • granola or breakfast bars eaten in the car or on the bus
  • smoothies
  • mini frozen pizzas in a toaster oven - cook while you're doing your hair or make up

 


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#9 of 15 Old 08-05-2011, 12:59 PM
 
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Another breakfast help (I am addicted to McD's breakfasts ( I know, I know) and needed a good alternative.

 

Take 12 eggs and scramble them, mix in cheese, veggies, meat--whatever.  Pour into muffin tins that have been sprayed with Pam and cook for 20 mins or so at 350 until the eggs are cooked. 

Pop out, freeze and defrost for breakfast.  They typically only have about 100 calories per muffin so I bring 2 and some fruit to eat and much at my desk when I get to work.

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#10 of 15 Old 08-05-2011, 08:06 PM
 
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LOL the first time I read the thread title I skipped it thinking I was going to feel really embarresed by reading this!

 

I don't spend a ton - except when it comes to convenience when I am really tired...which is often!

 

I try to do my own breakfast - either something frozen (pizza bites, chicken nuggets etc - yeah, bad stuff), or sometimes I bring cereal and milk with me, when DH brings begals home from work I will sometimes toast those and eat on the fly. I also grab fruit and a granola bar sometimes or a yogurt and homemade granola. I occasionally make my own coffee, but, most of the time I just buy it. Sometimes I buy a breakfast sandwhich or 6" sub for breakfast if I am running late or my fridge is empty.

 

Lunches I almost always bring from home (if I buy it is usually a sub and veggies/fruit). I eitehr bring leftovers (I purposely make extra everytime I cook), or I sometimes to frozen goodies (again pizza bites/nuggets etc), I often bring a salad (I usually have the premade salad bags on hand) and lots of fruits and veggies to snack on. I rarely bring sandwhiches...I am kind of picky about them so I don't usually have on hand what I want. Honestly, I do not even need a lunch so long as I have lots of yummy healthy snacks...sometimes I never eat my actual meal! I also like to pack some type of yummy drink like juice or tea...it is more for my enjoyment than anything lol.

 

Dinners: I am home, I try to cook extra and than add a couple ingredients or twist it somehow so it is a different recipe the next day. My kids cannot stay up late enough for me to cook once we are home so they eat leftovers from the day before or sandwhiches or just whatever they want pretty much - I know they eat healthy at daycare so I don't stress over what they eat for dinner (sometimes the do not even want dinner so I give them a little yogurt or some crackers and send them to bed). On the nights I cook I try to keep it to a 30min meal, or something that does not need much attention (like something baked or simmered). I end up eating pretty late...or else I jsut snack with the kids and eat the food for lunch the next day...DH eats around 11pm when he gets home from work (I am already asleep lol). About 2-3 nights a week I just order take out or delivery to simplify my life - I HATE that habit, but, it takes an amazing amount of stress out of my life so it may not change...unfortionately! I do try to keep it cheap like pizza or chinese (neither of which I like, but, it makes my DH happy lol). There is one awesome italian restaurant that serves a ton and we can all eat from 1 plate, so I will sometimes order that...but usually not because it involves driving across town to pick it up (except I think I just remembered that they deliver lol I might do that next time).

 

Clothes...I shop at Ross and Target, I don't have time to thrift shop, unfortionatly, but, Ross and Target are next to each other and both enexpensive so I try to get 1-2 things as needed while I am already at the store doing my other shopping. I really don't own that many clothes...I am just boring and wear the same things over and over. I DO try to get cute things that I like though.

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#11 of 15 Old 08-06-2011, 05:55 AM
 
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I eat a lot of peanut butter/bananas on pita when I'm in a rush.  PB is the quickest, healthiest thing ever and it fills me up and packs to go quite easily.  And it's cheap.  I drink tea so I stash teabags in my purse and make hot water once I'm in the office.  If I have time at home, I love to make a bowl of hot cereal for myself - but that doesn't happen that often on weekdays.  That's breakfast - I'm super boring, but it never fails to please my stomach. ;)

 

I stash snacks at work like dried fruit/nuts or a piece of fresh fruit like another banana or cut up apple slices (again, if time - that's getting pretty fancy ;)).  Otherwise I starve until lunch.  

 

Lunch - I'm lucky - I live in a place where I can get a big bowl of healthy noodles with an egg for $1 - so getting that every day is not going to kill my budget or my health.  But I do often eat stuff from home - I make a huge batch of humus on the weekend and try to keep cut-up veggies around - then pair that with bread and cheese and maybe a quick tomato and there's lunch.  Or dinner leftovers if I'm lucky.  I always double the batch of whatever I'm cooking too to make things stretch - pancakes, mexican rice, beans and rice, lentil sloppy joes, etc. 

 

Clothing - I don't have the pressure you have to look trendy.  And my office is fairly casual.  I try to update my look a little bit with the extras a PP talked about - new earrings, glasses, shoes - and I keep wearing the same stuff from 10 years ago along with a few hand-me-down pieces my trendier sister sends me.  I'm really cheap about clothes and it's just not my priority right now.  But I too like TJ Maxx and if I were in a bigger city, I would definitely make a little time for thrift stores.  There are some great ones out there!


Lizbiz, wife to my man who makes me smile, and mom to one bouncy boy (08/07), one sassy girl (12/09), and one sweet new boy (08/12).

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#12 of 15 Old 08-07-2011, 03:49 PM
 
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I tend to skip breakfast, I might have a piece of toast with peanut butter if things are going well and I have managed the time correctly...usually not, I have a coffee or a tea when I get to the office, another at 10 with a piece of fruit or a baggie of nuts that I buy in bulk, then lunch is usually salad or sandwiches made with stuff I buy and stash at the office fridge (cheese, avocados, dijon mustard, tomatoes, etc) and fruit.  Snack is usually fruit.  Dinner is often pasta with a veggie and cheese sauce or tomato and cheese sauce, and some cooked chicken pork or steak for the kids and DH.  I sometimes make rice and do a stir fry.  It only takes me about 10-20 minutes to make dinner and most of it comes from the farmers market or the  bulk stores which helps.

 

Clothes I buy two or three quality pieces and mix and match them.  I think you could wear the same 2 pairs of jeans and one or two skirts with different thrift store retro looking blazers and a cute heel and be really cool. That's pretty much what I do...one or two unique signature pieces can define your style better and make you feel beautiful and confident.  For example I just found a pair of zebra striped horse skin pumps from Nine West at a thrift store in EXCELLENT condition for SEVEN dollars!!!  And I have a blazer I had made in vietnam in raw irridescent blue silk that I paid 20 dollars for and it's a focal point that I usually wear once or twice a week with different things.  I prefer to have quality pieces that I know will last and can be styled to be trendy.  Certain designers never go out of style, and if you know the right neighborhoods to go to you can find amazing stuff.  I'll never forget the long lost Chanel Suit I got for 20$ on the upper East Side Good will in NYC.  I got my first job in that suit and I always wore it when I wanted to feel important. 

 

I think it is always better to be fashion forward than trendy anyway, so unless you work AT the GAP and have to wear the newest trends because that is what you are selling, maybe look for more classic pieces that you can use for longer, that are better made and will last through the fashion trends.

 

I just realized I sound like someone's grandma, but I swear this is true.  I maybe buy two or three items of clothing a season and usually they are from thrift stores, end of season sales or sample sales.   I'm not even typically frugal, BTW.  I'm just a little too lazy to worry about being trendy and most trends look awful on me anyway...remember those balloon skirt dresses a couple years ago...Egads!  I tried one on and I swear I looked like I should have had a ground crew under me and be lined up at the Natural history museum for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Skinny jeans have a similar effect on my thighs.  So maybe I am biased. :p


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#13 of 15 Old 08-07-2011, 07:25 PM
 
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why is it taking some of you so long to shop at Thrift shops?  Are your stores like really huge or something?  I find the lay out of most thrift stores WAY more efficient than the average Target.  First by clothing type, then season,  then by color, then by size. So say I need a good purple blouse to go with an outfit...Zoom Summer Blouses, Zip purple shades, Bang size 8-10.  then I just scan for a style that suits me.  I find that way better than searching through a department store for something stylish, especially if the color I want just isn't "in" that month.

 

Seriously, what gives?  I think it is more about picking the right neighborhood and time of year than it is needing lots of time.

 

Also, when you think about it, frugally trendy is sort of oxymoronic, isn't it?  Because after all a frugal person wouldn't buy something they thought they could only use for a short time, right? 


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#14 of 15 Old 08-07-2011, 09:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hakeber View Post

why is it taking some of you so long to shop at Thrift shops?  Are your stores like really huge or something?  I find the lay out of most thrift stores WAY more efficient than the average Target.  First by clothing type, then season,  then by color, then by size. So say I need a good purple blouse to go with an outfit...Zoom Summer Blouses, Zip purple shades, Bang size 8-10.  then I just scan for a style that suits me.  I find that way better than searching through a department store for something stylish, especially if the color I want just isn't "in" that month.


This is not my experience.  The thrift stores I have been to are not nearly so well sorted, most of the stuff available is really unsuitable, like intended for a preteen or an 80 year old woman, has holes or stains, or is some really crazy color.  If there are clothes that I do like, they are all different brands so half the time I'm guessing on the sizes.  I've been a 4 and an 8 on the same day.  Also, if a thrift store is a miss, it's probably the only one in the vicinity so I have to drive a good distance to find something else.  

 

Are we talking about the same thing here?  I am meaning Value Village, Sally Ann, Good Will etc.  What you're describing sounds more to me like a decent consignment store...those are great but the prices are almost as much as new stuff if you are careful about sales. 

 

That's not to say I wouldn't ever thrift and haven't ever scored a great find...I just don't see how it could be as fast or faster than going to the mall where sizes and appropriate kinds of clothes are easier to figure out.  Maybe I'm just shopping at the wrong store!

 

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#15 of 15 Old 08-07-2011, 11:00 PM
 
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When I have time to make lunch, I'll do that. For other days, I keep a packet of Wasa Light Rye and a tub of hummus at work, along with a few yogurts. It's a quick, filling and cheap lunch. It's pretty easy for me to bring fruit and some carrots from home every day, and if I don't have more time, it's OK. I'll also buy some frozen meals when they're on sale and stash them in the freezer. I'll also keep a can or two of soup that I really like. I buy 'pricey' soup for that, but even if the soup is $2 a can, it's cheaper than take out. It's much faster for me to walk down to the microwave, heat them up than it is to go out.

 

I have a tea kettle in my office and keep tea on hand, plus milk in the fridge. Cheaper and easier than coffee. (I just have to learn to stop after the 2nd pot of tea. 3 pots of tea in one day makes me go all shaky.)


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hakeber View Post

why is it taking some of you so long to shop at Thrift shops?  Are your stores like really huge or something?  I find the lay out of most thrift stores WAY more efficient than the average Target.  First by clothing type, then season,  then by color, then by size. So say I need a good purple blouse to go with an outfit...Zoom Summer Blouses, Zip purple shades, Bang size 8-10.  then I just scan for a style that suits me.  I find that way better than searching through a department store for something stylish, especially if the color I want just isn't "in" that month.


Our thrift stores aren't laid out like that. It's "blouses" and if you're lucky, they're sorted by size or color (but not both). No season sorting, nothing. When I shop for my kids clothing, it's hard because everything from size 4 to size 14 are together, vaguely by type.

 


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